Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
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WILLIAM SHARMAN (August 2012)

(Born 12th of September 1984 in Lagos)
William Sharman grew up in Corby, Northamptonshire. He has a brother and sister.
Even though, likable Will Sharman has made his name for himself 'World Wide' as an athlete, he modestly did not mention his other talents when I talked to him. He trained as a classical pianist and is a fine cornet player.. He has a University degree in economics and a Masters degree in Finance & Banking.
   His Father was a very good rugby player, second row for the Northampton Saints. That was just after the War. He is married to Lyna and they have a son Joshua born in 2010.
Will Sharman was first educated at Bishop Stopford School in Kettering before going to university.
   To some the Olympic Games' is overhyped as the only competitive stage for athletes to aspire to when, there are so many other competitions going on year in year out!?
   " You are right! I did not take up sport because of the Olympics. If that were the case, having not been automatically selected for the Games I would have given up by now.'
  Will added to that " I have been carrying a very painful leg for the last two years. We tried to get it better but we were not able to. When this season (2012) is over something we have not tried before, a simple four letter word 'Rest' which I have never really taken and get my leg right. I'll start a fresh and do what I am supposed to do which is ' kick everyone's butt '
   He gained a Big Championship medal in the Commonwealth Games in October, 2010 in New Delhi.First 4:-.(1 Andy Turner (Eng) 13.38; 2 William Sharman ( Eng) 13.50; 3 Lawrence Clarke (Eng) 13.70, 4 Eric Keddo (Jam) 13.71.
           " I was really grateful to come through with something. I was on a drip that morning in the hospital and ran in the Final that evening. I think I was allergic to some of the medication the team doctor gave me.'  
'It was a terrible experience but I got through it and I am glad I gave it a go because I was not going to compete."
   The World Championships in 2009 you felt was your best  performance!
    " That was my personal best of 13.30."
   Berlin 20th of August 2009- First  Six:- (1 Ryan Braithwaite (BAR) 13.14; 2 Terrance Trammell (USA) 13.15; 3 David Payne (USA) 13.15; 4 William Sharman (GBR) 13.30; 5 Maurice Wignall (JAM) 13.31; 6 Peter Svoboda (CZE) 13.56.).
   You ran 12.9 wind assisted in Madrid on the 2nd of July 2010 was that a memorable performance
    " A fantastic run in Madrid in the pouring rain but I still managed to produce a fast time. I fought to the line and did not give up. When you fight all the way you remember those races."
   As your Father was a fine rugby player did you want to play rugby.
    " I definitely wanted to go into rugby. At times I was keen to get into the game. My Dad always thought I was a bit too small and a bit too young. He said 'Wait till next year' When next year came I had taken up other sports."
   Will found he was good at hurdling, running and jumping and began competing with Corby athletic club. His interest was in the decathlon and the high hurdles. He showed great promise in the decathlon and as an 'Under 20' athlete won the National Decathlon Championships back in 2003 with 6976 points. He notched up 7384 in Holland in 2005 and 5278 for the heptathlon. In those days the famous Leicester coach John Anderson gave him advice as did  Loughborough Polish hurdles coach George Maciuiewicz later on but it was even before that he really showed promise at the multi -events but, there was a reason he did not stick to them and turned to hurdling as the main part of his athletics career. A dislocated shoulder in 2005 put paid to his decathlon interest " I did Seven and half thousand points with a dislocated shoulder" he remarked.
       About turning to the hurdles after that he said " I really enjoyed hurdling so when I was injured and could not do it anymore I wanted to try my chances as a hurdler and the first year I took it up I took a whole second off my time from 14.4 to 13.4.. He won the Under 23 -National Championship on the 3rd of July 2006 in Bedford in 13.49 which was a memorable event for him.
   .Despite the recent injuries Will Sharman came 5th in the Final of the World Championships at Daegu last year in 13.67, tying with a certain Aries Merritt of the  USA, who improved considerably to be Olympic Champion the following year. Of course there are many hurdles races one could also mention but perhaps an important feature in recent times is the fact that Malcolm Arnold coaches him.
   I can remember interviewing Malcolm Arnold and his athlete John Akii-Bua in Munich in 1972 after Akii won the Olympic 400 hurdles from the inside lane in spectacular fashion."
    Will has seen that on film and said " I have seen the documentary of Akii-Bua and Malcolm Arnold as he coach. It is really good and an 'Eye Opener' .The way they lived their life and tried to balance a sporting career at the same time."
   What is your opinion of Malcolm Arnold as a coach?
" He is good and he teaches the athlete to be independent . He gives them the kind of training that he knows will bring about a result rather than stuff you could be wasting your time with."
   Being a member of Belgrave Harriers must mean a lot to you now
" Definitely, I always did the British Leagues but it is a few years since that. I also enjoyed those and did the hurdles, high jump, shot and relays. It was a good training venture (2009 was his last British League performances according to the Power of 10).
     In his athletic life Will Sharman has done a 21.59 -200; 48.53- 400 and 2.08m for high jump

In athletics at high level it is a very close call between being exceptionally fit and sharp, in excellent shape and being injured?
"Exactly, I could not agree more so, I think I have flirted with that line heavily and I need to back off."

Alastair Aitken

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